3rd Sunday of Easter
Acts 3:13-15,17-19 II:
1 John 2:1-5
35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was
recognized by them when he broke the bread.
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among
them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your
39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a
ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement,
he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you:
Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of
Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and
rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to
all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
- On an earlier occasion, Jesus had appeared to the two disciples who were on
their way to Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. This time,
according to Luke, Jesus appeared among them when these two disciples went back
to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples how they recognized Jesus through the
sign of breaking bread (v.35).
- When they thought He was only a spirit and not in the physical form (v.37),
Jesus revealed Himself as truly risen from death in His earthly body, by
inviting them to recognize His hands and feet where the nail or rope marks
would be (v.39).
- Jesus' victory over death is pointed out very powerfully in the renewal
of table fellowship with His disciples, when He asked for food and ate it
- Although having told them on several occasions before, Jesus now opened
their minds to comprehend what had been written about Him in the Scriptures
(v.45-46) that has now been fulfilled. Also as written in the Scriptures,
and forgiveness of sins is to be preached in His name to all nations,
Jerusalem" (v.47), Jesus now gave this commission to the disciples as the
first witnesses of His fulfillment, right in Jerusalem (v.48).
- Witness is a translation of the Greek word martyr. Some of this
witnessing to the world requires martyrdom. Along with the commission of
Jesus assured His disciples with God's promise to give them the power from on
high (v.49) through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
One Main Point
Through the reunion with Jesus, the disciples' minds were opened to understand
about Him as written in the Scriptures. Since they have witnessed that the
Scriptures were fulfilled by Jesus, the disciples were now to preach in Jesus'
name about repentance and forgiveness of sins to the entire world, with the
power from the Holy Spirit as promised by God through Jesus.
- How do I recognize Jesus' presence with 'flesh and bones' in the people
around me and in myself ? How ready am I to have my mind opened to
Jesus and the Scriptures ?
- Being called to the same commission given to His disciples, how do I live as
a witness of Jesus, preaching about repentance and forgiveness of sins ?
- What did I learn from Jesus in handling doubts and fears in the minds of
others when I'm carrying out the tasks of a witness ?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community